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Only the Brave Will Survive

May 28, 2015  0


Only heroic Catholics will survive.

In short, in the times that are just ahead for Catholics, only the truly dedicated will not become apostates and thereby lose Heaven. This was the opinion of Fr. John Hardon, a very holy priest who died 15 years ago in Detroit — a man who was remarkable owing to his holiness. What he said has come even sharper into focus in light of the wholesale rejection of the Faith by an overwhelming majority of the Irish last week.

If you are not preparing yourself now, and your family now, bracing yourselves spiritually for the darkness into which civilization is descending, you will not survive. You will inherit Satan for your father. People do not suddenly decide to suffer for the Faith. They prepare themselves to suffer great hardships for the Faith, by undergoing little hardships and sacrifices in advance. You could think of it as a kind of dress rehearsal. Our Blessed Lord Himself said conversely: If you cannot be trusted in small matters, you cannot be trusted in larger ones (Luke 16:10).

Heroes do not miraculously appear. They have the stuff of heroism inside them all along, cultivated and molded and formed, waiting to emerge publicly if and when the correct circumstances arise. In the meantime, they live rather ordinary lives on the outside, perhaps even unaware themselves of the reality that they are heroes in the making.

Such was the course of countless saints — who are, after all, the heroes of the Faith. But not one of them scaled the greater heights of holiness without first mastering the lesser heights. How did they do this? By choosing a life of prayer and sacrifice: prayer to unite themselves to Heaven while still on earth, and sacrifice to unite themselves to Christ suffering. Without the conscious choosing of this route, a person will fall away when the test comes.

We sometimes have this too-nostalgic thought about the age of martyrs in the early centuries. We see the drawings of heroic Catholics standing straight moments before the lions pounced. What we do not see, what is not memorialized in art, is the vast numbers who committed apostasy before the jaws of those same lions, or those in whom the Faith had turned cold. They were more than content to offer incense to the Roman gods.

And they didn't do it necessarily out of hate toward the Church; in all probability, actually, it was just a mild indifference — just enough to get them to officially treat the Church in the same manner in which they had unofficially viewed Her. What the persecution did in them was simply concretize their ambivalence and lack of regard. Some time long before they had lost their love of the truth, but it was the case that circumstances just never prevailed upon them to make a formal announcement — something akin to the husband or wife who long since stopped loving their spouse. He or she plods along, knowing the truth down deep, but not really having any driving reason to deal with it.

And then, suddenly, along comes the lover, the one who ultimately forces the spouse's hand — the one who makes them choose; and they choose to bring into the open what has been the reality all along. And they abandon the marriage. At last, circumstances did prevail upon them — and they chose betrayal, adultery.

This is exactly the same dynamic playing out across the Catholic world right now.

Many lackluster, indifferent Catholics feeling no real love of the Church will abandon Her as soon as the right conditions present themselves. Those conditions are arriving very soon — and very soon, the choice will have to be made. Only the most dedicated, heroic Catholics will choose correctly and be saved — and their number will be very few.

Pray and sacrifice that you and those you love will be among them.

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Ireland: Then and Now
May 27, 2015
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